Adventures of Eating with dReJ: healthy, cheap, delicious

Posts tagged ‘healthy mexican’

Pork & Plaintain Enchiladas

Ours actually looked pretty similar to this even though it's not our photo!

Alright – so despite the lack of posts, we have still been cooking up a storm. I just haven’t had much time to share the recipes. We’ll get caught up soon. One that we tried this week is from one of our favorite mags, Cooking Light.

They did a whole series of healthier Mexican food this month – so you know we were excited as that is one of our fav foods! We picked an enchilada recipe this week. You can find the ingredients and instructions here:

They were seriously delicious. There is something about pork tenderloin that I love so much! I never even used pork tenderloin in my meals before I started cooking with my husband – but you can buy them pre-seasoned or plain and add your own. So easy! And it’s a pretty lean cut of meat, so you don’t add all the excess fat/calories.

Would definitely recommend this recipe if you want to try a new healthier version of enchiladas! It also heats up well so you can bring it to work for lunch.

I will try to take some more pics of our meals this week and get you some more healthy recipe ideas! Happy cooking!


Chipotle Pork Tacos


Yummy Tacos on Corn Tortillas

Just because we gave up going OUT to eat Mexican food doesn’t mean we can’t make a healthier version of it at home. It’s hard to go wrong with Tacos – you can basically take this recipe and change it a million different ways and it will still end up being delicious.

Here’s the recipe from Cooking Light. We get the Cooking Light magazine every month, so this was a recipe featured in the April 2011 mag.

299 calories for 2 tacos is pretty darn good. Sure beats the  calories at a typical Mexican Restaurant. I like making Tacos at home because you can always make it healthier by using a leaner cut of meat. Even if ground beef is your thing – you can just opt for a less fatty version. You can use part skim shredded cheese if you miss the cheese topping. You can buy fat free sour cream instead of full fat. You can add more vegetables – or make a veggie taco version for even less calories. Go with the corn tortillas like the recipe says because that will be a major calorie saving switch for you.

You can make this recipe a bit hotter by adding more than  teaspoons chopped chipotle chile in adobo sauce. If you don’t know where to find the chipotle chile in adobo sauce – look in the international aisle of your grocery and it’s usually in a little tiny can with the Mexican stuff. YUM! Chipotle is not a SUPER spicy pepper – so if you are looking to really heat it up, add a jalapeno or if you are like RJ, add a habanero!

For those that know RJ – he is a total chile head – so anytime the grocery store has awesome looking hot peppers, he brings one home determined to find “something” to cook it with. He decided to use it for the pork tacos this past week.  Since i’m not quite as advanced in my “take the heat” skills, he left it out of my servings for lunch. Unfortunately, I grabbed the wrong container for lunch and only made it about halfway through the tacos. It was full on tears and several days of avoiding anything remotely spicy after that. Lesson learned!! So just be careful if you are going to add some heat!


Serve with fat free refried beans!

A little fajita in my life…

Sizzling & delicious!

So for anyone who knows me, I heart Mexican food. Fajitas, burritos, taco salad with crispy shell…oh my! The unfortunate thing about mexican food is that when you eat Mexican OUT, it’s usually pretty terrible for you even when you try hard to pick something healthier. Because, let’s be serious, who can pass up on chips and salsa?

I bought RJ this series of books from Eat This Not That for his birthday. And no, it wasn’t really me trying to encourage him to eat healthier – he just thought they had fun interesting facts and asked for them. I am not a mean wife! 🙂

So anyway – these books have some great recipe trades so you can make a healthier version of your favorite “eat out” meals at some typical restaurants. One of my fav things to get at a Mexican restaurant is the chicken fajitas.  The book had a recipe swap for the Chili’s chicken fajitas so I was immediately on board (even though I don’t really eat at Chili’s that often I felt good about my choice!).

All wrapped up and ready to go!

Homemade Guacamole - YUM!

I made some tasty homemade guacamole (never made it before) and it was delicious. To the right you’ll see our healthy fajita ready to be eaten!




So here’s the recipe for all those out there who just can’t live without mexican food in their lives:  (more…)

Chicken “Carne” Adovado

Smoky flavor and so many options!

Quick Link:

This recipe was really unique. It  calls for mild-to-hot red New Mexico chiles – so you can really pick how spicy you want this dish to be. You can find dried peppers in the produce section of your grocery store. Sometimes they are tricky to find – because they typically are NOT near the fresh peppers. In bigger stores you might find bins where you can pick them yourself and put them in a bag, smaller stores might have them prepackaged for you.


Servings: 6 (don’t forget to take this into account with the ingredients below. We just made it all and had a bigger portion for each meal)

Active Time: 50 minutes

Total Time: 2 1/4 hours (We changed up the cooking on this one so it only took us about 25 minutes – see below for details!)


  • 4 ounces whole mild-to-medium-hot dried red New Mexican chiles (16-20 small to medium), stemmed and seeded
  • 2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth, divided
  • 1 1/4 cups chopped onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar or cider vinegar
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons dried oregano, preferably Mexican
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/4 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed and cut into 1-inch cubes

dReJSay: So i have to comment on the Chicken Thighs here. I have historically been opposed to cooking with chicken thighs as it just sort of grossed me out. BUT then i realized you can actually buy boneless, skinless chicken thighs at the store and that made it all better. I saw them in the butcher section of the grocery store, and they had some prepackaged as well. And honestly, chicken thighs are super tasty. Just be sure to trim any extra fat to keep the meal nutritious.

Preparation (dReJ Tip)

We felt that over 2 hours on this dish felt like too long. We wanted this to be for dinner – so we wanted something we could come home after work and gym time and be eating soon there after. So here’s what we changed – feel free to do it the way the recipe says – I’m sure its still tasty!


  1. Heat up a pan on the stove to medium high with a touch of olive oil, add your chiles (be sure to rinse them first!). Cook them like this until they almost start to burn – they will be brownish and very fragrant.
  2. Let chiles cool, then break each chile into several pieces.
  3. Add chicken thighs to pan and brown them using olive oil while chiles cool.
  4. Puree the toasted chiles, onion, garlic, vinegar, oregano and salt with 2 cup broth in a blender (or food processor)  until only tiny pieces of chile are visible and all is smooth. You may have to split this in half and do it twice if you have an old blender that can’t do it all at once. .
  5. Add sauce to chicken in pan; stir to coat.
  6. We served this dish with brown rice and 2 corn tortillas a piece with a dollop of fat free sour cream!

Amazing and super versatile. And you cut out hours of baking time following our method. Let us know if you have questions.


dReJ Concoction: Enchiladas

Tex Mex Goodiness!

Alright – this meal is in regular rotation for us, but it’s RJ’s own creation, and we change it up from time to time depending on what we feel like. But this time around, here is our ingredient list:


1lb Turkey Brest (ground – choose a low fat version)
1 package of your favorite taco seasoning (opt for lower sodium if possible)
1/2 teaspoon olive oil
1 onion diced (red or yellow)
1 Bell Pepper diced
3 jalapenos diced (seeds and membrane removed, unless you want it hotter)
4oz mushrooms diced
2 teaspoons chopped garlic
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili pepper
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 can black beans (drained)
1/2 c fat free sour cream
8 flour Tortillas (choose a low carb or healthy version)
1 can enchilada sauce
1/2 c FatFree cheese (mexican blend)


Tag Cloud

%d bloggers like this: